A Wake Up Call for Israel Too

[Ynet News] Ron Ben-Yishai - In the wake of the nuclear test that North Korea conducted Monday, it is imperative that the West and Israel quickly sober up and stop deluding themselves that the Iranian nuclear program can be stopped. North Korea proved once again that diplomatic pressure, economic temptations, threats of military action, or sanctions could not stop fanatic regimes of totalitarian states from obtaining the bomb if they are determined. North Korea developed nuclear arms with its meager means because it believes they are an essential tool for the survival of the regime and a lever that would help it attain its strategic goals through nuclear extortion of its neighbors and the West. The same holds true for Iran. Iran's financial and scientific resources, as well as its oil-sponsored maneuverability, are far greater than North Korea's. Thus, the chances that Iran would stop its nuclear program before it attains operational nuclear and missile capabilities are slim. It is also doubtful that a military operation by a Western coalition (Israel included) could stop the Iranian nuclear program. Such an operation could delay it by a few years, but will probably not stop it. It is highly reasonable that additional countries will take the nuclear path. Japan can develop nuclear weapons fairly quickly to neutralize the North Korean threat. In our region, there are clear signs that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey will not sit idly by. It is also reasonable that money-starved North Korea will sell its nuclear know-how and equipment to the highest bidder in much the same way it distributed its missile production know-how to Syria, Iran, and other Middle East countries.

2006-10-10 01:00:00

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